This paper addresses the development of a nonlinear optimal control methodology for magnetostrictive actuators. At moderate to high drive levels, the output from these actuators is highly nonlinear and contains significant magnetic and magnetomechanical hysteresis. These dynamics must be accommodated by models and control laws to utilize the full capabilities of the actuators. A characterization based upon ferromagnetic mean field theory provides a model which accurately quantifies both transient and steady state actuator dynamics under a variety of operating conditions. The control method consists of a linear perturbation feedback law used in combination with an optimal open loop nonlinear control. The nonlinear control incorporates the hysteresis and nonlinearities inherent to the transducer and can be computed offline. The feedback control is constructed through linearization of the perturbed system about the optimal system and is efficient for online implementation. As demonstrated through numerical examples, the combined hybrid control is robust and can be readily implemented in linear PDE-based structural models.